Today the world is in a chaos as never before in modern times. Terrorism, economic recession, rising food prices, natural disasters all these are causing stressful situations for individuals. Coupled to these are personal problems whether of family or work. Resultant stress is taking its toll in the form of rising incidence of stress related diseases like hypertension, heart diseases, asthma, peptic ulcer, e. t.c.
In spite of advancement in medical science, health of mankind is not improving as expected even in developing countries because of these stress related problems.
In this scenario, laughter offers a very effective and economical way of improving one’s health and keeping away diseases.
Laughter is the act of laughing. In the hectic working schedules and busy city lives an individual needs to recall as to when they last laughed heartily. Some unfortunate people trace it back to years when they were in university or school.
Laughter conveys happiness not only to the person but those surrounding him. It naturally relaxes the mind. When the mind is relaxed, the level of stress induced chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline is also reduced, thus smoothing the pulse rate and preventing a high blood pressure. Thus it helps to keep off heart diseases. It also aids in improving the ventilatory function of the lungs, because in a good laugh all muscles of the chest are activated.
Thus ventilation becomes better, more pure blood is pushed in the whole body and more impurities are removed. The end result is the person will feel more fresh and cheerful.
When the body becomes stress free, white blood cells and related disease fighting cells are increased in number, thus enhancing the immunity, i.e. disease fighting capacity of the body.
Due to mental relaxation, laughter diminishes depression, anxiety and any other negative thoughts plaguing the mind. Thus it can be a very good substitute for anxiolytic drugs which are harmful when taken for long.
Laughter also helps to ease any pain in the body. Pain like any emotion is perceived through activity of the limbic hypothalamic system of the brain. Laughter stimulates it in a positive way thus reducing the pain sensation.
The entire body along with the muscles relaxes with laughter. This helps to reduce various muscle cramps and pain, which a person experiences in daily hectic schedules.
Laughter is also helpful in connecting people and bringing them close. Something which is much needed today. Due to increasing modernization, busy schedules, changing lifestyles and many kinds of electronic entertainment, people have stopped socializing as before. The result is in spite of having all material comforts, persons tend to feel lonely. This is because mentally they have nobody to, “open up to”. This is also one of the reasons there is increasing prevalence of depression globally.
To fulfil the need to talk to somebody freely, people turn to professional counsellors, various kinds of spiritual and mystic men. This problem can be very well sorted out just by talking and laughing together. Laughing together brings a sense of intimacy among individuals and breaks any mental barriers they have.
This further helps in cheering and relaxing the mind. It also helps to strengthen relationships in the family and outside also. 2 friends who share jokes and laugh together will always remain good friends.
In olden times, there were some inhibitions regarding laughter, particularly for women. Laughing loud was considered, “unladylike”.
But now when women have shed many inhibitions, there is no reason to hold back laughter, it is still better and healthier than many other inhibitions shed by women.
Best thing is one does not have to pay a single penny for laughing, it is totally free and always fun filled.
To be always stress free and healthy, it is important for all people to take some time off to laugh with family, friends and colleagues. It is a free and very effective way for maintaining good health.